Job Fair Attracts 550 Students, 41 Exhibitors

Stone Harbor Resort was bustling with activity Wednesday as 550 students learned about 41 businesses, organizations and services at the Door County Economic Development Corporation’s (DCEDC) third annual job fair.

Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Algoma and Washington Island high schools brought sophomores, juniors and a few select undecided seniors to the fair in Sturgeon Bay between 8:30 and 11 am, and Southern Door students arrived for late-morning and early afternoon visits.

Laila Ianson from Southern Door High visits the Parkwood Lodge booth at the third annual Door County Economic Corporation job fair. Photo courtesy of Sarah Paye.

Gibraltar High School has a separate job fair planned next month to spotlight opportunities in northern Door County and beyond.

Many business operators were looking for immediate part-time help as well as finding long-term employees. Some exhibitors teamed up to provide information on training, wages and tuition-assistance programs, such as Synergy Heating and Cooling owner Derrick Ellefson and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s HVAC instructor Leon Charnetski, for example.

Employers promoting training programs or Youth Apprenticeships were not all industrial in nature. Jan Mills at Door County Massage discussed a combination academy and once-weekly hands-on training program; Kris Meissner from Meissner Landscape had three full-time apprenticeships available and two part-time; Kerry Johnson discussed combination service and citizen-science (summer) jobs at Evergreen Miniature Golf; Kayla Lehman from the new Children First Development Center on Egg Harbor Road promoted Youth Apprenticeship opportunities; and sheriff’s department Capt. Carl Waterstreet discussed professions in law enforcement as well as the non-sworn-reserve-deputy program that has some duties available for 17-year-olds and slightly more opportunities for young men and women older than 18.

Not all exhibitors were there seeking employees or trainees. Evonne LaCrosse from Door-Tran distributed information on a loan program for vehicle purchases and providing vouchers or rides for commutes to work and training programs for students and adults.

A complete listing of exhibitors appeared on the DCEDC page at

Student vignettes

This reporter listened to goals and interests of 19 students who attended the fair:

Left: Sergio Hernandez, a Sevastopol junior, took interest in summer job opportunities beyond his current part-time work. He is interested in radio work, helps with the student newspaper and did a recording with WDBK radio/Door County Daily News.  Second: Emmanuel Morales, a Sturgeon Bay sophomore, said he enjoys history and reading in school. He said he wants to help people, and took interest in one booth for physical-rehabilitation work. Third: Fisher Grandy, a Washington Island junior, visited welding-related employers and the Therma-Tron-X booth. He said he may consider working in the trades, or studying business. Photos by Craig Sterrett unless otherwise attributed.

Left: Gabi Tjernagel, a Sturgeon Bay junior who enjoys English, already has a Youth Apprenticeship in marketing with the Door County Economic Development Corporation. She is considering a psychology or marketing major in college. Second: Hannah Benson, a Sturgeon Bay junior, said she’s interested in veterinary medicine. She spent time with representatives from the Plum Loco Animal Farm and the Sheriff’s K-9 unit. Third (photo by Sarah Paye): Eli Jaden, a Southern Door sophomore interested in being a lineman, said he enjoys math, science and history and visited with Veolia, Sturgeon Bay Utilities and Marine Travel Lift personnel. Photo courtesy of Sarah Paye.

Left: Jackson Starr, a Sturgeon Bay junior, enjoyed a plumbing booth but paid close attention to Realtors as well. He has an interest in becoming a real estate attorney. Second: Zone Wienke, Sturgeon Bay sophomore, said he likes athletics and science, and took an interest in booths relating to designing, architecture and building. Third (photo by Sarah Paye): Nevaeh Krueger (right), a Southern Door sophomore who works at farmers markets in summer, is considering various pursuits but became interested in the Sheriff’s K-9 unit.

Left: Jaxin Lindgren, a Washington Island junior, has work lined up with the Washington Island Ferry. “Right now I plan to join the Coast Guard.” Second: Julian Langer, a Sturgeon Bay sophomore, said he already works washing and waxing boats, but for other possible work, he liked the maritime booths and the Harbor Village campground. Third: Kayden Klotz, a Sturgeon Bay junior and soccer standout, said he’s considering going to trade school or a four-year school with technical training. He has helped his dad and grandfather with projects and has interest in becoming an electrician.

Left: Kayla Ranley, a Sevastopol junior, already has three jobs lined up for summer but took interest in vacation-related booths. She said she plans to study education in college. Second: Merrill Kelsey, a Sturgeon Bay junior considering marketing and business studies, said she took interest in summer job possibilities, such as On Deck Clothing Co. Third: Patrick Haese, a Sturgeon Bay junior, said he is considering going to college but was interested in learning about and trying many different jobs – such as with Premier Concrete – to gauge his interest. 

Left: Sierra Slaby, an Algoma junior, spent quite a bit of time at the Door County Sheriff’s department table. She’s interested in law enforcement, perhaps game-warden work. Second: Cody Kirchman, an Algoma junior, currently plans to attend Northeast Wisconsin Technical College for training in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. He spent time with representatives from Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 400, Wulf Bros. and Synergy, which has a scholarship and tuition-reimbursement program for HVAC training. Third: Tessa LeBotte, a sophomore from Algoma, said she plans to attend a university, but she took interest in the early childhood education information and possible Youth Apprenticeship with the new Children First Development Center in Sturgeon Bay.